Friends ‘swim with shark’ off Hastings coast

Two friends believe they swam next to a shark off the coast of Hastings without realising it.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 12:49 pm

Tatjana Lawrence and Andrew Larkin went for a swim near Rock-a-Nore at about 10.30am on Tuesday (June 22).

However, once they were back on the beach, the pair noticed a fin above the water which they believed was a basking shark.

Andrew suffered a cut to his ankle while he was in the sea which he thought was caused by rocks but, after spotting the fin, he wondered if it was caused by the shark.

Tatjana and Andrew said they spotted what they believed to be a shark on Tuesday morning SUS-210625-121147001
Tatjana and Andrew said they spotted what they believed to be a shark on Tuesday morning SUS-210625-121147001

Tatjana said: “We were swimming quite far out. It was only when we got back to the beach that we saw the fin and decided to take some pictures and videos of it.

“We were looking at it wondering what it was. We are certain it was a shark, and we had been swimming with it.

“I had never heard of a shark in the sea off Hastings before. Basking sharks swim with their mouths open and my friend got cut on his ankle so maybe this caused it? I guess we’ll never know.”

Tatjana was still unsure whether they had spotted a shark until another sighting was reported off the coast of Bexhill on Tuesday evening.

Tatjiana and Andrew spotted what they believe was a shark once they got out of the sea SUS-210625-121157001

Tom Hunt was visiting his parents in Bexhill on Tuesday evening when he spotted what appeared to be a shark’s fin above the water.

He said he has been coming to Bexhill since he was a child as his parents live in the flats facing the sea in Knole Road, but said he has ‘never seen anything like this’.

After spotting the fin from his parents’ flat, he went down to the seafront and took a video of what he believed was a basking shark.

He said it happened between 7.30pm and 7.45pm while the seafront was relatively quiet, possibly due to the England game, but he did notice a couple further down the beach having a look too.

Tatjana Lawrence and Andrew Larkin SUS-210625-121207001

Tom said he could see the animal for another half an hour or so as it slowly made its way to Hastings.

In October 2018, a man was swimming near Hastings Pier when he spotted what he believed was a basking shark. On that occasion, Ross Walters got out of the sea and grabbed his camera as he was concerned nobody would believe him.

A cut to Andrew's ankle SUS-210625-121137001